ACI Northwest Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Heat Pumps’

A Heat Pump Can Save You Money in the New Year

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Home heating expenses account for about 45% of the average household’s bills, and space cooling may be responsible for about 6% of your bills. And in the typical household, these numbers can be much lower. Energy-efficient equipment combined with proper maintenance procedures and thermostat use can cut bills by up to 30%. And one of the most efficient HVAC (heating and cooling) systems out there is the heat pump.

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The Benefits of a Heat Pump

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Looking for a new air conditioning system to get you through the hot summer? We strongly recommend heat pumps to any customer who wants a high-performance, high-efficiency system that will last for many years to come. And as an added bonus, these systems are efficient heaters as well! In this guide, we detail the benefits for you, as well as how the system works.

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Heat Pump Repairs to Plan for this Spring

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Because heat pumps provide your home with both heating and cooling, they run throughout much of the year. The only periods when you can expect your heat pump to go inactive are during the temperate stretches during the spring and fall.

We’re only a few weeks away from the official start of spring, and you’ll soon transition your heat pump from heating to cooling. This is the ideal time to take care of repairs that will help your heat pump manage the upcoming summer weather with few operating glitches and without excess energy drain. Here are a few heat pump repairs to schedule for the spring so you’re ready for when the real heat starts.

Call ACI Northwest to repair your heating system in Spokane, WA. We have over eight decades of experience with home comfort systems, and our NATE-certified technicians are ready when you need them.

Heat pump repairs to watch for this spring:

  • Refrigerant leaks – Don’t start the summer with a lowered refrigerant charge inside your heat pump! If you noticed icing along the coils of the outside unit during heating season, you probably have a lowered refrigerant charge from leaking in coils or the compressor. A drop in heating power can also indicate leaking. Remember, the refrigerant level affects the efficiency of both heating and cooling, so you need to have a technician fix the leak and recharge the refrigerant to its proper level so you’ll have the cooling you need for summer.
  • Broken reversing valve – If you’ve kept your heat pump in heating mode for a while, try this test: change it over briefly to cooling mode. If it doesn’t start blowing cool air but still blows warm air, then the reversing valve has probably broken. This valve is what allows the heat pump to change between its two modes. A repair technician can fix this by changing the broken valve for a new one.
  • Worn down motors or compressors – You should always pay attention to strange sounds coming from either the indoor or outdoor cabinet of your heat pump, since they usually warn of impending mechanical failures. Shrieking and groaning noises are often omens of motors or compressors wearing down because of stress, and if either of these malfunctions, the heat pump will either lose power or stop working entirely. Let repair technicians find where the trouble is and fix it.

Make sure you have maintenance performed as well

Spring is when you should schedule professional maintenance on your heat pump to prep it for the summer. If the system has any hidden repair needs, the technician will catch them and know how to fix them. The technician will also clean, adjust, and fine-tune the unit.

ACI Northwest has the maintenance plans and the repair knowledge to keep your cooling and heating in Spokane, WA running with as few issues as possible. To enjoy the upcoming summer in cool comfort, call ACI Northwest.

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FAQ: Why Get a New Heating System in the Fall?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

At ACI Northwest, we know that saving money on heating costs in the winter is important to our Coeur d’ Alene customers. That’s why there’s no better time to think about upgrading to a new high-efficiency furnace, heat pump, boiler, or geothermal heat pump system.

Just like having a routine tune-up in the fall, installing a new system helps ensure that you will have an efficient and high performing heating system throughout the entire winter. A new heating system is also less likely to break down on you in the middle of the heating season. Depending on the type of heater you are interested in, fall is a good time to have a heating professional install it due to the weather changes.

For instance, installing a geothermal heating system will require drilling or digging trenches to install the loop fields. If you want a new system before the winter arrives, and you haven’t scheduled an appointment, set up a consultation soon. Doing so will increase the chances that we can install the underground pipes before the ground freezes. In addition, a geothermal heat pump can both heat and cool your home; therefore, in the fall, you won’t necessarily be using either your heat or AC, which means it will not affect your comfort during the installation.

By the same token, installing any type of heat pump system in the fall is a good idea due to less need for heating or air conditioning when the weather is temperate. For furnaces and boilers, you will want to ensure that they are working before you need to turn on your heating system. In addition, you may decide that it’s time to replace your heating system during the annual check-up in the fall. Our technicians will test the efficiency of your current system, and provide a full inspection to help you decide whether or not a replacement is the most cost-effective choice.

Call ACI Northwest if you are considering a new heating system. We can help you with all your Coeur d’ Alene heating needs.

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How to Get the Best Heat Pump in Kellogg

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Everybody wants a good deal in Kellogg, especially when making a major purchase. People want their money’s worth. They want to feel like they got the best they could for the money they spent.

But how do you decide what the best option is, especially when choosing a product that you know little about, like a heat pump? The average homeowner does not spend a lot of time studying his heat pump or reading heat pump magazines for fun, so chances are you are not a heat pump expert. That’s understandable…but it doesn’t help you when you are trying to buy a new one and you want the best.

Fortunately, there some things you can look for to get clues about the quality of a heat pump and how well it suits your needs.

Efficiency is among the most important factors in choosing a heat pump. Because heat pumps can be used for both heating and cooling, they have two different efficiency ratings, one for each mode.

The heating efficiency for a heat pump is rated on a scale called the heating season performance factor (HSPF). This rating is actually the result of a calculation. To find the HSPF for a heat pump, the unit’s estimated heating output is divided by its energy consumption. Simply put, it’s the ratio of heat put out by the unit to the amount of power it draws. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heat pump is. To give a frame of reference, all new heat pumps are required to have an HSPF of at least 7.7. The most efficient units available carry an HSPF of 10.

The rating system used to convey the cooling efficiency of a heat pump is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). This is a simple numeric value that rates how efficient the unit is. Many new heat pumps carry a SEER of at least 12, while the most efficient models rate between 14 and 18.

While efficiency is important, it is just one factor. More efficient units are also more expensive, so you will want to consider the upfront cost. The most efficient units will pay for themselves in savings relatively quickly, but the purchase price is still important. Be sure to weigh all the pros and cons when choosing a new heat pump for your Kellogg home.

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Pros & Cons of Heat Pumps in Worley

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

When deciding on any major purchase for your Worley home, a critical step is to weigh the pros and cons. This helps you to decide on the best option and reach the best decision for your needs and preferences.

Installing a new heating system is a perfect example of a situation in which you would need to weigh pros and cons. There are a lot of options, and not all of them are right for all people. Take heat pumps, for example. They are great devices and serve many people extremely well as home heating solutions in Worley, but they are not without their drawbacks. Below are some of the pros and cons of heat pumps to help you decide whether a heat pumps if the way to go for you.

Pros:

  1. Inclusive – A heat pump not only heats your home in the winter but also cools it in the summer, thanks to a reversing valve that changes the flow of the refrigerant. Having one appliance for both heating and cooling can be very convenient.
  2. Energy efficient – Heat pumps are extraordinarily efficient when it comes to energy use. Because they simply move and distribute heat, rather than producing any on their own, they use minimal electricity.
  3. Simple – Operating on the same basic principles as your refrigerator or an air conditioner, heat pumps are relatively simple. More importantly, they simplify your life by putting your heating and cooling solutions in one package and running on electricity, so you don’t need any other fuels on hand.
  4. Inexpensive to operate – In addition to being energy efficient – which lowers your monthly energy bills – many heat pumps are eligible for federal tax credit. You can save a bundle by using a heat pump.

Cons:

  1. May need supplementing in cold climates – In climates where winter temperatures stay below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for a while at a stretch, a heat pump will have trouble keeping up and need to be supplemented.
  2. Don’t work in power outage – Obviously, because they are powered by electricity, a heat pump won’t work in a power outage, unlike some other heating solutions that do not require electricity.

Although the pros clearly outweigh the cons here, the cons are important as well. Carefully consider all these factors and more while deciding whether a heat pump is the solution for you.

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Pros and Cons of Various Heating Systems in Worley

Monday, December 12th, 2011

When it comes time to install a new heating system in your Worley home, there are a lot of options to consider. Many people get overwhelmed when confronted with all of the furnaces, boilers and heat pumps on the market these days. So, to help you get a handle on what each has to offer and which will offer you the best benefits, here is an overview of the modern heating system market.

Furnaces

Furnaces are the core of a forced air heating system and use gas, oil or electricity to heat air which is then circulated through your home by a blower in your air handler. Furnaces are among the most fuel efficient heating systems on the market today with options available at up to 95% AFUE (meaning it uses up to 95% of the fuel consumed to produce heat). They are also inexpensive to install and while they don’t last quite as long as boilers, they are highly efficient when well cared for.

Boilers

Boilers use gas, oil or electricity to heat water or steam which is then circulated through your home into radiators or baseboard heaters. The heated water or steam releases heat into your home and heats it in turn. While not quite as energy efficient as a high efficiency furnace, boiler heat is perfect for homes with existing radiators and no room for vents and ductwork. It also has less of an impact on indoor air quality since there is no air movement and boilers tend to last a very long time when well maintained.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular, especially in milder climates where it rarely gets below 40 degrees F. A heat pump uses the same technology as an air conditioner to extract heat from outside using a compressor, evaporator coils, and condenser coils with refrigerant.

It is most efficient in the spring and fall when temperatures are mild, but it uses much less energy than either a boiler or furnace and it can be used in the summer to cool your home. When properly maintained, a heat pump will last 10-20 years and save quite a bit of money, though it is recommended that you have an emergency heat source for days when the temperature outside gets below 40 degrees F.

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Furnace vs. Heat Pump: A Tip from Sagle

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

If you’re preparing to replace your existing Sagle home’s heating system, you may very well be struggling with the question of whether to go with a furnace or a heat pump for all of your future home heating needs. Each of these systems have their own advantages and drawbacks, and once you’ve narrowed it down to one type or the other, you’ll still have a pretty wide variety of products to choose from.

Furnaces are still the most popular type of home heating equipment on the market. You can get furnaces that run on gas, oil or electricity, although gas furnaces are by far the most common type of furnace around these days. The latest models are extremely energy efficient, with AFUE ratings reaching into the high 90%s.

Like heat pumps, furnaces use ducts to transfer heated air throughout your home. They typically require regular maintenance once every year or two depending on the type of furnace you have, and they can be expected to last anywhere from 15 to 25 years when properly maintained. Most modern furnaces are also made to be compatible with a central air conditioning or cooling system as well.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, don’t generate the heat that they circulate throughout your house. Instead they are able to extract the heat from the air outside and pump it inside. This means that they use much less energy than even the most energy efficient furnaces.

However, heat pumps are only capable of heating your house comfortably when the outside temperature is above freezing. If you live in an area with particularly long and frigid winters, you’ll probably find that you need to supplement your heat pump with another heat source. Because of this, it actually makes little sense to use a heat pump in more extreme climates.

On the other hand, if you live in an area with relatively mild winters, heat pumps can be a great option. They provide a constant flow of warm air to all parts of your home and can also keep you house cool during hot summer months. To cool your home, heat pumps simply reverse the process they use to warm it. They take the heat out of your indoor air and pump it outside. This is a very effective home cooling method and makes heat pumps a great solution for year round comfort.

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What Is Forced Air Heating? A Question From Cocolalla

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Chances are that you’ve heard the term forced air heating in Cocolalla before, particularly if you’re in the market for a new home heating system. But what does that actually mean? The truth is that if you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. There are so many types of home heating systems out there that it’s common to be a bit confused and overwhelmed by it all.

The truth is that a forced air heating system is simply a heating system that distributes heat throughout your house using air to carry it. In this type of system, heated air travels through a system of ducts and is expelled through vents into the different rooms and areas of your home in order to maintain a particular temperature. That temperature, of course, is whatever you set your thermostat to, and when the desired temperature is reached, the heat will shut off until the temperature drops down again.

The main difference between the different types of forced air heating systems is the type of equipment that heats the air. For instance, you could have a gas furnace or a heat pump. Both of these are capable of heating air, and when paired with a fan, blower or air handler, can distribute heated air throughout your home.

Many forced air heating systems are remarkably energy efficient and can effectively keep you home comfortable all winter long. Additionally, they are generally made to be incorporated with central air conditioning systems for year round temperature control. Heat pumps are especially convenient in this way, as they’re able to both heat and cool your home depending on the season and your home comfort needs.

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